Otis Redding didn't simply "play concerts." The soul giant was a human Mount Vesuvius: He erupted. Redding was at the height of his fame in March 1967, when he played these two brief shows in London and Paris. (He would die in a plane crash in December that year.) And the audience's reaction is ecstatic — it's a fair bet that few of these Europeans had ever witnessed a spectacle quite like Redding and the all-star Stax house band, Booker T. and the MG's and the Mar-Key horns, tearing into "I Can't Turn You Loose." Legendary producer Tom Dowd supervised the recording in London, and the show is a barnburner — six torrid uptempo soul numbers leading into Redding's signature whisper-to-a-scream anthem "Try a Little Tenderness." But the Paris concert highlights the singer's balladeering, adding the stately "I've Been Loving You Too Long" and "These Arms of Mine." And there is a bit of cheeky turnabout at work in Redding's trip to the other side of the Atlantic. He delivers two of the most baldfaced homages in pop history — the Beatles' "Day Tripper" and the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" — taking the world's biggest rock stars to school for a torrid Memphis-soul master class.
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